Excited to announce that we’ll be playing High Water in Charleston, SC on April 21-22. Check out that amazing lineup! Weekend passes will go on sale Friday, November 10 at 10am ET, with full details here.
August 24, 2017
*tap tap tap
Is this thing on?
Holy Crap! Can you believe it’s already mid-August?!? Where did 2017 go? I don’t know about you, but no matter how far away I get from formal schooling, September alwaysalwaysALWAYS feels like the beginning of the year.
So, how was everyone’s winter/spring/summer vacation? Did y’all get a glimpse of the eclipse? Did you don your space glasses? Hope those in the Path of Totality (my new band name, btw) enjoyed the weirdness during the brief bout of afternoon darkness. Original founder of this website, Frank had an enviable view of the rare celestial spectacle from the cockpit of a plane descending into Seattle airport. Cool, huh? Almost as cool as this incredible photo from the ISS.
Let’s take a minute to marvel at the amazing world in which we live, wherein people living in space can take a breathtaking photo and immediately post it on social media.
Let’s also marvel at the outstanding year our favorite foursome had! Almost one year to the day recording ended in Tornillo, TX, Graveyard Whistling was released to rave reviews.
The Old 97’s have never shied from that internal gray, but it’s never kept them from having a good time, either. Graveyard Whistling is a fitting title and apt image. It’s the work of a band finding complexity in apparent basics, and depth within its play.
Graveyard Whistling proves that even in the young man’s game of country rocking, growing older is no impediment to creating exciting, even exhilarating music that feels vital, fresh and dangerous.
Graveyard Whistling is the unpretentious, deep breath follow-up that is anything but a relaxing, post-tour coast. It’s rambunctious, loud rock and roll and it is just what the doctor ordered.
And here’s a very compelling read masterfully penned by our own Mr. Miller which starts off thusly:
There is the guy, and then there is the guy in the song. The guy has a real life—messy and convoluted, marked by devastation and success. The guy in the song has a single moment that exists within the framework of the song and in the imagination of the listener. The guy will die someday. The guy in the song lives forever. They are both deeply flawed.
He speaks of blurring the line between narrator and self, sitting alone in the back of the bus, writing All Who Wander.
You’re gonna want to read this Relix piece.
Most Messed Up was such a powerful, thematic album, it was a tough act to follow. But, man, did GW answer the call and then some. Such a strong, sound collection of work that Rhett has dubbed the hungover morning after MMU’s night of debauchery. The strength of this album propelled the 97’s to bust into Billboard’s top 10 rock chart for the first time ever and put them at #1 on the Americana chart!! Hot DAYUM!!!
The band performed on three networks within two weeks; Seth Meyers, Saturday Sessions on CBS, Conan on the West Coast, and in between, they embarked on their first ever Rock Cruise sponsored by Sirius Outlaw Radio. Rhett gave attendees a preview performance at the Sixth Man studios.
Here’s Good With God from their headlining show on the deck.
Back on terra firma, our fave Texans toured the West before heading back to Dallas for the 2nd annual Old 97’s County Fair. The ferris wheel was back, along with carnival games, artist booths and a photo camper. This year’s line up had YUUUGE talent, including The Jayhawks, Lucinda Williams and the incomparable Mavis Staples. Her set brought ALL of the VIP types out from backstage to drink in the power that is Mavis. When she departed the stage, EVERY performer took turns taking a selfie with this musical legend.
The evening culminated with a well-deserved proclamation of thanks from the State of Texas presented to the 97’s by the head of the Texas Music Office before our guys took the stage.
No word yet on the date for 2018, but plan on attending. This event has become a meeting of Wreckers far and wide. Seriously, you don’t want to miss this fair next year.
Speaking of Wreckers, a couple of our tribe have been brainstorming names for Old 97’s themed beer over on our Forum. Some of their suggestions so far are Big Brown Ale, Trainwreck (a dank, raucus double IPA), and Color of a Lonely Heart (blueberry ale). I don’t know, sounds like a fine idea for Old 97’s County Fair 2018.
The one and only, Miss Mavis Staples. The crowd was putty in her hands.
The guys brought out Heather Stalling on fiddle, John Pedigo on banjo, and Joe Butcher on pedal steel to add a different level of energy to House That Used To Be. Fantastic!
Throughout the tours so far this year, the band and/or Rhett visited a number of radio stations. Here are just a few:
Rockin’ out in Seattle at KEXP’s new facility:
and finally, a fab performance in the 412 (home of the back-to-back Stanley Cup winning Pittsburgh Penguins!) at WYEP
Ever the insightful interview, Rhett also took time out in Austin to have a thoughtful conversation with KUTX’s Elizabeth McQueen on her This Song podcast. Rhett’s choice will surprise you. The link to that convo is here.
And here’s a fun video of Nikki Lane and Rhett singing Good With God for KUTX in Austin back in May.
Here’s a little reward for your tenacity to sticking with this beast:
Murry picks up the interview baton to discuss libraries, Graveyard Whistling, and gratitude for his life in music.
“When I get onstage, I look at people and they’re so beautiful. You look at faces and see all the humanity in front of you … I’ll look at the crowd and see a face and it’s like seeing a painting. “That face, right there, that’s it! That’s the perfect face.” It’s so valuable. I’m happy and grateful that I’m in this life where that’s a part of my workday. I’ve had some shitty jobs in my life but that right there is part of my workday. The more you run into that the more you go, “Life is good.”
In the words of Sally Field, “He likes us! He really likes us!” So next time you’re in the front row, give Murry a little wave.
And last, but not least, I can’t end this missive without a giant shout out of thanks to our tech extraordinaire, Jason Garner for stepping out from behind the stage to step behind the kit when Philip was recovering from his frightening fall. You are an invaluable talent, friend and gem of a human. We all heart you bigly. Thanks, buddy!
Dates are out through October. Enjoy the waning days of summer. See y’all on the road!
February 24, 2017
OLD 97’S RELEASE NEW ALBUM ‘GRAVEYARD WHISTLING’ TODAY VIA ATO RECORDS
NEW “GOOD WITH GOD” OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO FEATURING FRED ARMISEN + JENNA FISCHER OUT NOW, WATCH HERE
WATCH PERFORMANCE OF “GOOD WITH GOD” FEATURING NIKKI LANE ON ‘LATE NIGHT WITH SETH MEYERS’ HERE
TOMORROW: NATIONWIDE TOUR BEGINS + ‘CBS THIS MORNING: SATURDAY’ PERFORMANCE AIRS, CHECK LOCAL LISTINGS
“‘Graveyard Whistling’ proves that even in the young man’s game of country rocking, growing older is no impediment to creating exciting, even exhilarating music that feels vital, fresh and dangerous.” – American Songwriter
“Graveyard [Whistling] might actually be the most country Old 97’s record in years, while maintaining the sticky sweet melodies the band has always nailed.” – Paste
Dallas four-piece Old 97’s is a pioneer of the alt-country movement. Years of hard work has earned them respect and veneration, yet they still retain the raucous energy, deceptive cleverness, and knockabout spirit that first distinguished them from the pack. This attitude continues on their 11th studio album, Graveyard Whistling, out today.
Today the band released its music video for rollicking single “Good with God” and courtesy of Pitchfork you can watch it HERE. Directed by Lee Kirk, the video is a parody of MTV’s ‘120 Minutes’ featuring an interview and live-tracked performance with Fred Armisen (Portlandia, Late Night With Seth Meyers) and Jenna Fischer (The Office). “Good with God” has also been a breakout at radio and is inside the top 20 on the AAA Chart.
“Lee Kirk and his team had written a great script and arranged for what would have been a very cool video when we discovered at the last minute that our drummer would not be able to take part in the filming,” explained lead singer and songwriter Rhett Miller. “Thank god that Fred Armisen is a world-class drummer in addition to being literally the funniest man on the planet. What we wound up with was unexpected and amazing. This video could have been an hour long given all of the hilarious improv that Jenna and Fred did.”
Old 97’s will be performing this track and the new songs “All Who Wander” and “She Hates Everybody” on CBS This Morning: Saturday tomorrow. Check local listings for airtime.
On vinyl, Graveyard Whistling is now available in four different cover color options – red, blue, green and silver – with four matching vinyl colors in translucent red, translucent blue, translucent green, and clear. You can pre-order the album physically or digitally HERE and head below to check out Old 97’s 2017 tour dates including the Old 97’s County Fair in their hometown of Dallas.
January 24, 2017
We still have a short while to wait before Graveyard Whistling is in our greedy little hands, but we don’t have to wait to hear another song from the album! Following up the first single “Good with God” is “All Who Wander,” a slice of wistful Americana sizzle guaranteed to worm its way deep into your inner ear. Enjoy!
Tour dates for May were announced today as well. The second leg of the tour is a tireless swing down the east coast and into the heartland. And don’t worry, if your hometown isn’t on the list, chances are we’ll be seeing you pretty soon!
January 12, 2017
Saturday April 8th
Main St Garden Park in Downtown Dallas
The Gordon Keith Band
45 foot Ferris Wheel
Kids 10 Under Free